, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 149-166

Thyroid dose assessment for the Chernigov region (Ukraine): Estimation based on131I thyroid measurements and extrapolation of the results to districts without monitoring

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Abstract

Based on the results of131I thyroid activity measurements in three districts of the Chernigov region (Ukraine), individual doses were calculated and an approach of the age dependence of the average thyroid exposure was derived. Using the relationships between the thyroid doses and the137Cs deposition as well as the location relative to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), age-dependent average thyroid doses were extrapolated also for those settlements of this region where no monitoring measurements have been carried out. The highest doses were found in the west of the region with the lowest distance to the Chernobyl NPP. In this part, the highest mean of the thyroid dose in a settlement was 3.3 Gy for infants and 0.5 Gy for adults. The collective thyroid dose was 31000 and 27 000 person-Gy for children and adults, respectively. Based on this assessment, 140 and 21 excess thyroid cancer cases are predicted for children and adults, respectively. In the years 1989 to 1991, in the whole contaminated territory of the Ukraine 0.4–1.2 cases per 100000 children were observed. Although the absolute numbers are very small, this indicates the possibility of an increase in thyroid cancer morbidity among children. The same trend also seems to be indicated in the Chernigov region. A careful epidemiological study in the future is necessary to enable a final evaluation of radioinduced cancers in this region.